President of the General Assembly,
President of the Security Council,
President of the Economic and Social Council,
It is undeniable that the transformative 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the sustaining peace concept are indivisible, mutually conditioned and reinforcing, as well as interdependent. Evidently, there can be no development without peace and stability and no long-term peace and stability without growth and development. Through its own experience and development in the last decade, Serbia has become well aware of the significance of this paradigm.
Within the Open-ended working group that led to the formulation of the sustainable development goals, Serbia strongly supported, along with other countries, the adoption of sustainable development goal 16 dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all, as well as the promotion of the rule of law at the national and international levels. Within that context, the significant reduction of illicit financial and arms flows is particularly important. Conflict and war are antithetical to development and prosperity. The main vision of the Charter of the United Nations to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war can only be attained if the promise of the Agenda for sustainable development is achieved. Wars and conflicts cannot be prevented if challenges of poverty and hunger are not tackled once and for all, if the world continues to be exposed to the negative effects of climate change leading to natural disasters and if rising inequality in, and among, nations persists. It is clear that the global community cannot move forward in a balanced and stable manner if one per cent of the global population has more wealth and income than the remaining ninety nine percent.
The international community is currently facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with a record number of migrants, refugees and displaced persons arising from simultaneous humanitarian and security crises. Clearly, migrants and refugees belong to those who have been left behind and their plight must be addressed. The number of civil wars and conflicts globally has risen. Wars have become more complex and intractable. In the last fifteen months more than a million migrants and refugees have traversed Serbia through the Western Balkans route. In the face of the suffering by refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as by over 200 OOO internally displaced persons from the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, the people of Serbia showed solidarity and empathy towards migrants and refugees. We are very much aware that these migrants and asylum seekers are fleeing chaos and war or economic deprivation, poverty and the effects of climate change. Clearly, the Millennium Development Goals were not successfully implemented in the countries from which the migrants are fleeing. Efforts to prevent global conflicts have evidently had limited success and the root causes of the outbreak of wars, increase of poverty and deprivation and a lack of inclusiveness have not been addressed in a coherent manner.
The United Nations system is faced with serious challenges in addressing the root causes of conflict in a comprehensive manner and refining and developing conflict prevention and early warning capacities. The creation of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office in 2005, an attempt to bridge the divide between peace building and economic recovery and development, has had limited success.
It is a cause of major concern that the Advisory group of experts concluded in its 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture report that the United Nations system is lacking in coherence and coordination in addressing the vital process of transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding to development. Historically, there is no sufficient coordination and cooperation between the organs of the United Nations, especially in the field of conflict prevention and the process of recovery and reconciliation. The fragmented silo approach is still prevalent within United Nations agencies despite the call for Delivering as One.
With the adoption of the Agenda for Sustainable Development until 2030 and the refining of the sustaining peace concept, the United Nations has at last developed tools and instruments to establish a coherent relationship between security, human rights and development within which women and youth have an essential role to play. We must make a strong effort to use these tools and mechanisms as efficiently as possible.